Many people today face different abuses, traumas, difficult experiences or mental health issues. Well, who doesn’t experience any of these?
As a child, I experienced a difficult time when my mom died. I was only 6 then. Growing up, I was bullied. As an adult, I was sexually abused and went through a mental health issue. It was never easy. But I knew I should never just stop there. At some point, yes, I lingered with everything that happened to me. I saw myself as a victim of unfortunate events. But something has to be done. I shouldn’t keep myself from growing and seeing the light. I should stop being sorry for myself. So one by one, I started to address my issues.
To fill the void in my heart of not having a real mom beside me growing up, I found myself family to my friends. I remember calling some of my closest teachers in high school and college “mom”, and “dad” and treating my friends like my real siblings.
(These are some of my high school friends that I keep until now. My siblings from another mother. Family since 2007)
To fight the resounding voices telling me I am stupid, or not enough, I treasured the words of affirmation I get, especially when it comes from my dad. I also learned to read my Bible and get encouragement from there. It has been my solid rock, growing up. I especially loved Proverbs in the time when I always think of ‘suicide’ and unforgiveness.
In facing trauma, after a year, I decided to open up and tell my dad. I also had counseling sessions with one of our guidance counselors in school. I am already a teacher then and I just really grabbed the available resource that I had around me. I also got involved with small groups in the church where I learned to not be ashamed of what happened rather be brave.
After knowing that I have Generalized Anxiety with Depression, I sought help. Honestly, I was hesitant to get help at first. I just want to be alone. I shut people down and locked myself in the room but thankfully, I have been given a supportive stepmom who introduced me to a psychotherapist to get help. I attended therapeutic counseling sessions (I still do) to address and acknowledge my feelings and everything I went through.
And all those things happened because I decided. I decided not to lose myself. I decided to continue despite the hardships. I decided to see an opportunity in the ugly because I believe, my healing is my responsibility. I can always decide to just sit there and cry all day and night. I can disappear and die if I wish to. I can always blame the people around me for abusing me. I can have a heart full of unforgiveness and anger and carry the burden every single day. I can do all those but I chose not to. No one can ever be responsible for my healing. Even my parents, doctors, and psychotherapists, they cannot be responsible for it. No matter how professional and good they are, if I don’t want to be healed, and help myself, I will not be healed. I can only decide and take actions for it.
I remember a friend asked me, “Are you fully healed from all these?”
Yes, I believe so. Though there are times that I can hear a resounding voice in my head, reminding me of all the things happened in the past, I no longer let them dominate me. I always remind myself that the ugly things happen and I am not alone. There are people who went through the same thing or sometimes worst than that. But this thinking was not to ease myself but to remind me that we are all going through difficult times. From thinking this way, I started to see a new light and purpose, my healing can be an inspiration too for someone to heal.
I remember reading, “When a Good God Allows Rape” by Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza. That really helped me to go through tough times. It caused me to really depend on God in healing. I also talked to people who have similar experiences with me and it really brought me to seek healing. This made me realized that if some people inspired me to heal, I can do the same thing to others. I can be an advocate or help to people in need of healing in the areas I am healed.
So if you went through difficult times too or still going through it, I hope you find your way to the light. I hope you don’t stay where you are. I pray that you will be given courage, heart, and bravery to overcome. I pray that you will be strengthened and empowered to get up. I pray for peace, love, and joy to be renewed in your heart. God bless you.